Two of the most esteemed barkeeps in town are planning a pair of new establishments in Belltown.
Rob Roy owner Anu Elford (most of the town's drinking population long knew her as Anu Apte before she got married this summer) and Chris Elford will open a beer bar called No Anchor and a tiki-based cocktail spot known as Navy Strength this summer. They’re not disclosing the specific location quite yet, but both establishments will also be full-service restaurants.
Chris Elford moved to Seattle in 2013 after meeting a young lass named Anu at an annual bartender summer camp. Previously he worked at New York's Amor y Amargo and opened the highly legit East Village beer bar, Proletariat.
Elford also happens to be a certified Cicerone, so he has big plans for No Anchor, including well-chosen beers stored and served with great care, served without intimidation in a setting inspired by an oddities shop. He's planning some beer cocktails, and a "digestible" list of beers organized in a way he says he hasn't seen done in any of the beer bars he's visited.
Navy Strength will celebrate cocktails and tiki culture, minus its traditional thatched-roof kitsch. The Elfords are taking a broader approach to tiki, folding in its maritime origins (right down to the name, a reference to the mandatory potency of spirits the British Royal Navy stocked on its ships). It sounds rather like an extension of Rob Roy's weekly Tangaroa Roy tiki night. Anu's little catchphrase here is the three Ts: "travel, tropical, tiki." This approach means both food and bar can draw from a breadth of tradewind-connected cuisines.
Many, many more details to come, of course. But these two are pros on both the drinking and hospitality sides of the business. Anu bought Rob Roy and made it her own; the bulk of Chris's career has been in NYC. I can't wait to see these two build a pair of drinking establishments from the ground up.